Is there anything actually wrong with the Ford Mondeo? Sure, a few people may grumble about drive being sent to the front wheels, or the fact that the badge on the front is a blue oval and not a blue and white propeller. But really, the latest Mondeo is quiet, comfortable and a damn good drive.
About the only criticism we could level at the Mondeo is that it lacks a bit of grunt, especially as it’s a hefty beast. Sure, there’s a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine but it’s not what you’d call economical. And the engines that you’d call economical just aren’t fast enough.
The solution comes in the shape of the 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel co-developed with PSA that also finds work in various big Peugeots and Citroens.
So this diesel solves all the Ford Mondeo’s problems?
Pretty much. The increase to 2197cc brings an extra 35bhp and 44lb ft, with only a 25kg penalty. But it does weigh 1615kg or nearly 100kg more than the equivalent Volkswagen Passat Estate.
On the road though you wouldn’t notice and there’s typical decent diesel shove from very low revs. If you want to drive it like a petrol it’ll rev past 4000rpm before any engine noise becomes too intrusive. Be sensible, stick below 3000rpm, use that 295lb ft slug of torque and you can make brisk, easy progress.
The 2.2-litre diesel seems a tad noisier than the 2.0-litre, but that’s relatively speaking. The only other issue is price, as our Titanium X spec car was £24k before options. This is very much BMW 320d Touring territory, and while the German might not be able to match the Mondeo’s spec it is cleaner (131g/km CO2 versus 165) and more economical (57.6mpg versus 45.6).
The rest is typical Mondeo. Stylish to most people, though lacking that crucial fashionable brand name. Inside there are soft-touch plastics, it’s spacious for five proper-sized people, well-equipped with part-leather/Alcantara heated seats and 6CD changer, and the boot is a cavernous 542 litres (1733 if you fold the seats).
Our car also came fitted with IVDC damping system. You can select Comfort, Normal or Sport for £650, and over the twisting Kent roads of our test route there wasn’t much difference. Sport was a little firmer but we’d stick with the regular chassis that already works so well on British roads.
The 2.2 TDCI Mondeo ticks the boxes that it needs to. It’s only marginally less economical and polluting than the 2.0-litre (47.9mpg plays 45.6 and 165 versus 156g/km CO2) but provides useful extra shove.
If you want a performance Mondeo that ‘s also a practical everyday car then this is it. And you’ll never even notice the big boot on the back until you come to load it up. A lovely, brilliant family car.